Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

5 reasons why that OKC episode of American Idol sucked


First, it was a NBA team. Next, we were home to our very own financial scandal that I never took the time to actually learn about. But it wasn’t until the judges of American Idol descended upon our sleepy little state that I knew Oklahoma City had finally completed the holy tripartite of a true big league city.

Naturally, I thought it was kind of cool that they were coming to OKC to cast some stock characters scout for talent. After all, our citizens have had some luck on this show in the past. Plus, I was really looking forward an awesome episode complete with auditions from Biker Fox, Stormy Sutton, or maybe even a meth-adled homeless guy with no teeth.

Instead, last Thursday night they broadcasted probably the worst (or at least the most boring) episode of American Idol to date. Here’s just the short list of some reasons why.

1. That stupid, predictable, meaningless introduction. Anyone could have told you that this episode was going to feature a hefty chunk of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! libretto. That’s not what irked me. It’s the fact that they had a bunch of heavily-accented people sing our state’s song off-key while showing some clip of a dude in a pair of Wrangler’s chasing his cowboy hat as the wind carried it through a grassy knoll. Someone give these producers all the Peabodys and Emmys and a copy of every single rom-com or kid’s movie ever written, because the folks at the American Idol headquarters are in a ingenious league of their own.

The only thing kind of interesting about the staging shots is that they gave Mean Dueweke like a 1.5 second cameo. I mean, at least there was that, right?

2. The judges suck. Don’t worry–I realize that if you wanted to read a long rant on how awful the judging aspect of American Idol has become, you would just pull up the Facebook newsfeed of any menopausal woman. TLO is a manly place, I’m reminded of this every month when Patrick doesn’t publish the “Super Hot Pseudo-Celebrity Men of Oklahoma” posts I craft. Then again, he might just be doing this for my own protection–I hear people don’t like it when you Photoshop your face into pictures with dudes then publish those photos on Instagram and pass them of as real. Sorry about that Dante.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that when you put Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, and Nicki Minaj in a room together, nothing interesting will happen. Randy’s gone soft, Keith has nothing poignant or funny or smart to say, and that much-hyped “feud” between Nicki and Mariah turned out to be insanely anti-climatic. The only thing mildly amusing thing that comes from the judges is Nicki Minaj’s nicknames she gives everyone who auditions. Seriously, she’s better than Sawyer from Lost when it comes to mildly insulting yet hilarious handles.

3. We’re all immune to reality show pathos. This was the key to American Idol’s success the first ten years. Arguably, American Idol turned this into an artform. The “sob story” was every streetwise contestant’s road to the stardom.

But after a few season of this, we all started recognizing the archetypal characters that American Idol liked to include in their Top 12. The family man who gave up his burgeoning rock career to better provide for his young children. The country cutie. The quirky, multi-instrumental pseudo-hipster with a knack for reworking songs into decent covers. The tattooed and pierced single mom with a heart of gold. The funny fat guy. That freakin’ annoying entitled sixteen year old chick who drones on and on about how she’s “worked SO hard her ENTIRE LIFE” to be famous.

Apparently, the effectiveness of these gut-wrenching personal narratives has reached the point of decreasing marginal utility. Actually, it hit that level probably five years ago. I know this is going to make me sound like a cold, heartless jerk, but the Asian guy with the deaf parents and the cute kid with the genetic disease both had EXTREMELY mediocre singing voices. Okay Fox, if I wanted to cry I would just turn on Lifetime or re-read my diary entries from last month. If you’re going to deliberately try to manipulate my emotions, at least be decent at it.

4. Only two of the contestants they featured were from Oklahoma. They were both ravishing hot messes though. Here’s the footage:

The facetious send through–pure novel genius, you guys. Aside from the judges being insanely witty, I’m pretty sure I met Ms. Zoanette Johnson at a drag show at Majestic a few months ago. I’ll be damned if the Drillers don’t let her open the season.

Oh, Anastasia Freeman–about a thousand awesome Ardmore jokes just popped in my head. I’ll give credit where credit is due, and that “cheap dramatization” bit was solidly amusing.

5. They thought we’d think this was funny.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock


  1. I admit I was going to watch to see how OKC was portrayed and then I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bear to hear “Dog” one more time from Randy and as you say the theme, the process, the entire show is tired, rewound and so formula driven I couldn’t do it. I was betting there would be at least one shot of an oil well at the capitol, one shot of something to do with the thunder, one shot of a cow/horse in a pasture, and I was really hoping that they would NOT show the funky transformer bridge thing……………I sent FOX a pitch for a show, it was about women having PMS yet making it through the day and making the best of it……..I called it AMERICAN MIDOL.

  2. The broadcast showed two Oklahomans that made it (Zoanette Johnson and Kayden Stephenson – the kid with cystic fibrosis), one girl from Texas that graduated from Oklahoma Christian (Haylie Hilburn – the puppet girl) and that crazy girl from Ardmore.

    16 Oklahomans made it to Hollywood from the OKC auditions:

  3. The wittiest part of this article was the double entendre of the title immediately above the first photograph.

    Well played.

  4. When you think of the number of successful and influential musicians and singers from Oklahoma, it’s dumbfounding to see that producers of this horrid t.v. show from hip and happenin’ L.A. can only think of that stupid musical to showcase our state.
    Check it: Not only are there modern acts like the Flaming Lips and rising stars like John Fulbright, but there is Woody Guthrie, Leon Russell, Hoyt Axton, J.J. Cale, Jimmy Webb, Wanda Jackson, Byron Berline, Chet Baker, Roger Miller, David Gates, Lee Hazlewood, Sheb Wooley, Barry McGuire, Carl Raddle, B.J. Thomas, Dwight Twilley, Nokie Edwards, Johnny Barbata and many, many others. Look these people up if you don’t know who they are. These aren’t just Toby/Garth/Rebba fluff acts. These are heavy hitters who have helped shape and influence what the world knows as music. It’s a tragedy this isn’t widely known and appreciated. Most people in this state don’t even know the history of our music. There really needs to be a push to expose this part of Oklahoma. I suppose there’s that rock exhibit at the history center, but geez… not doing good enough of a job, obviously.

  5. Why is this show still on the air? It sucks beyond belief! Also,you forget the drummer from 9 inch nails is an okie too.

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